Why I Want to Thru Hike the AT.

Hiking, AT, Trail, Hot Springs, French Broad

Ok, now that you’ve read my story, let’s get a few things answered. A few of you may be wondering what the heck is thru-hiking, and what’s the AT?  So, keeping it simple…

The AT, or Appalachian Trail, is a scenic footpath that starts in Springer, Georgia and ends in Mount Katahdin in Maine, following the continental divide. The trail is about 2,190 miles in length, passes through 14 states, has an elevation gain of some 464,500 feet, and takes most people around 165 days in total to complete. And, possibly most importantly, it’s not a race.

Thru-hiking is completing the trail, in its entirety, in a single season. This is not an easy task at all. In fact, only 1 in 4 actually completes the journey. There are a few ways to thru-hike the AT. The most common is by hiking Northbound, while Southbound is also a popular option. There is also Flip-Flopping, which is hiking in half of the trail in one direction then flipping and hiking the other half in the opposite direction. For me, I want to stay traditional. So I will start from Georgia and hike Northbound, known as a NoBo Hiker, and finish my journey by summiting the northern terminus point of the AT, on top of Mount Katahdin in Maine.

To learn more about the AT visit http://www.appalachian trail.org.

So why am I doing this?  Well, there are a few reasons.  Thanks to the guidance of the book “Appalachian Trials” by Zach Davis, here are my reasons why and what I will accomplish as a successful AT thru-hiker…(wow, It felt awesome to put that in ink!)

I am Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail because…
I’m fizzling out in my career, and I’m ready for the next adventure.
I need to unlearn who I’ve become and learn who I want to be.
I’ve lost faith in humanity and society.
I need the time to find my purpose, and I’m not getting any younger.
I miss the challenge of pushing myself to the limits.
I need to remind myself that my disease doesn’t control me.
I want to inspire others.
I want to leave a legacy story behind for my family.
I went to bed on an overnight hike doubting that I could thru-hike the AT.
when I woke up the next day I realized that was a foolish thing to think.

When I successfully thru-hike the Appalachian Trail I will…
be ready to take on new opportunities, both personally, and professionally.
have a better outlook and perspective on life and people.
have overcome my personal fear…You’ll have to read my blog.
be more compassionate, patient, and understanding of others.
learn to love more.
accomplished a goal that I thought was impossible before I even tried.
have a better vision of who I am.
leave an incredible story behind for my family to share.
be stronger physically and mentally.
tell my story to inspire others to Be_again.

Ok, the last and most important list.

If I give up on the Appalachian Trail, I will…
continue to live in fear.
let doubt control me.
let my health become an excuse.
never believe in myself again.
settle for who I became.
have to face myself and others as a quitter.
give in to fear, and give up on dreams.
leave an ugly legacy of shame behind.
have this failure haunt me for the rest of my life.
not get to inspire others.

Now that I got my list complete, there really is a lot more meat and potatoes behind these reasons.  Which makes me think, maybe I should blog more about my reasons further as I prepare for my journey towards enlightenment and purpose. Unless you’re really interested in hearing about the struggles of my gear search…ZZZZzzzzzz Ok, maybe the gear search story could be exciting if it involves me hiding out in a REI for an overnight in store camping adventure…Everything is possible!

2016 AT in Hot Spings, NC – French Broad River

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